I was really mad at George Siemens, who made me do a concept map as part of the Connectivism class in 2008. Here was this whole class using and exploring all these tools, and for this one particular assignment we were forced to use a concept map.
Horror. I am a word person. I like language. I find lists perfectly acceptable. The closest I’d ever gotten to visual representation of words was a calendar grid, or possible drawing a line across my notes from one word to another to show relationship.
I don’t draw. When I was in high school my art teacher drew a picture of a brain, then another much smaller one next to it. He explained that this was a girl’s brain, and that’s why girls can’t do art. I’d like to say I got over that….
I could do layout on the high school paper, no problem. I did some visual stuff in college — lighting design was my thing. That kind of spatial and color stuff I could understand. Then came the web, and I made web pages.
But the concept map thing sent me into a panic. I forced myself to do it, of course, using that awful Cmap program. I began to realize it was mostly words, just arranged differently. I kept working with it. I did the assignment. When I was done, I vowed I’d never do it again.
So then Dr Couros assigns a Summary of Learning, as an “artefact”. My first thought was (gasp!) a concept map. What the hell had happened? I wanted to track my progress — surely this blog is already doing that. Surely a simple list or outline would summarize my learning. I could explain in words.
But no. The right tool for this job, if I’m going to do it, is a concept map. So I found something better than Cmap, and though I’m still not thrilled with MindMeister (ironically, because it doesn’t let me use enough images!), it will do fine.
Very brave, I thought. I hate vegetables, so I eat them. I detest exercise, so I go walk on a treadmill several times a week. And I can’t stand concept maps, so I’m doing one for my Summary of Learning.
OK, this is only tangentially related to your post. But you have to watch at least enough of this TED lecture to see how he DIDN’T use Powerpoint!
and of course I LOVE concept maps. I used them as a teen before anyone supplied the label for me. I taught with them since 1984. My grad school journals are largely composed of them. I plan my interdisciplinary units with them. It is useful to have a range of tools available to us but ultimately we find the ones we are most comfortable with and make them our own.
@Alan which tool(s) do you use?
You are an amazing writer! I enjoy reading your blogs, and following your insight during our weekly visits on Eluminate. I think you are someone I sort of envied during this class. You seem to have a strong understanding of the process and information we waded through during this class. Even in the comments sections of your own blog you are demonstrating how PLE can be used. Excellent work.
Mike, thank you so much – these are just the nicest things to hear.